How to deal with parents fighting

Chupa Chup asks: I am 11 years old. My 7 year old sister told me that my mum and dad were fighting one night because both of them wanted the phone, and my mum got the phone and accidently banged it into the side of my dad’s head and my dad got knocked out, and my mum went to jail to explain what happened to the police officers because my dad was in the hospital. When my sister told me this, I burst into tears. I have been really stressed lately because of this, and because I had a huge fight with my friends (who are not my friends anymore because they’re always mean to me and they always speak over me when I try to say something). I just need to be in a quiet place where I can scream as loud as I want to, sort of like heaven.

Hi Chupa Chup –


Wow, you are going through a really really rough time.  It is totally normal that, after hearing what you heard about your parents, you would feel very alone and friendless.  There’s a really good chance your friends aren’t being terrible, but just don’t know how to respond to what you’re going through.  But either way, this stuff you’re experiencing is just awful.


If you’ve looked around this website much, you’ll have seen that I often give advice to my Pack friends, but then suggest that they might want to talk to a therapist or counselor about what they’re dealing with.  For you, Chupa Chup, I’m insisting:  you need to talk with someone.  There’s no advice even the nicest smartest dog in the world can give to you while you’re going through this.  I would guess that you’re hurt, scared, and angry all at once.  It makes so much sense to me that you would want a quiet place to scream (I think that’s a great idea by the way – I’m a big one for barking and howling whenever I get the chance – it really gets stuff off my chest, even if the neighbors complain!).


But this situation is bigger than that.  If you were just upset that, say, a boy you liked was kissing another girl, or your sister broke your iPod, then yeah I’d say to just scream it out.  But we’re looking at a lot of questions here – what really happened with that phone?  Are your parents fighting a lot?  Are you and your sister safe when they do fight?  Is either of them walking around with so much anger at the other one that they’re being mean to you?


And how is this affecting you?  Even if your parents are doing fine now, you’re going to be affected by this stuff.  And you really do need someone to help you work through that.  Someone who’s good at this stuff.  If your school has someone there to help, that’s great.  But if not, they can probably recommend someone (and you should be able to ask for that information without having to tell anyone at the school anything you don’t want to, about what happened).


Chupa Chup, eleven is a great age.  You’re right on the cusp of becoming a teenager.  This is a time that’s going to shape your personality, your social life, and so much of your future.  This is a time when you need extra care.  So I am so glad you wrote me, and you’re telling me these concerns.  But I have to admit that I’m helpless in this situation.  I care about you, and want the best for you.  But you need to find someone there who can really help you, in person.


And once you’ve got that, and things move on at home so that it’s not so scary, you’ll find that most of the things you hope to find in heaven – are actually right here on earth!


Thanks for writing, and let me know how things go,



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Leave a Reply 2 comments

keepy kup - May 26, 2011 Reply

Are you married?can you fly?and you are very nice.bye i got to go see you later shirelle.

    Shirelle - May 29, 2011 Reply

    Married? Well, kinda! I have a license that legally binds me to Handsome. But it’s not really marriage! I definitely can’t fly – wow if dogs could fly… kittycats of the world beware!!!

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